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Sunday 4 November 2012

Tutorial: Machine rolled hem with fishing line + Brooch Giveaway WINNERS!

Julia Bobbin, rolled hem with fishing line

You know your sewing techniques are getting crazier when you can easily have the following conversation with your partner and he doesn't even bat an eye lid:

Me: "Hey honey, do you have any fishing line?"
Husband (H): "Yeah probably, why?"
Me: " Oh, I need some for my sewing."
Slight pause as he contemplates whether it's worth asking how the heck I can use fishing line in my sewing. Decides it's best not to ask.
H: "Oh, ok sure. I'll get you some."

My latest tutorial involves a beautiful structured rolled hem with the aid of fishing line, and all sewn on a sewing machine! I learnt this technique from an inspirational and absolute sewing master who is the grandmother of a very talented friend Katherine. We shall call her 'Katherine's Grandmother'.

But before I get prattling away, let's talk ...

Brooch Give Away WINNERS!

Two winners were randomly chosen using http://www.random.org

A big congratulations to the following two readers who have each won a brooch!

 The lovely Amanda Lyn from the blog Ardor, Zest

Madam Scuffsan

Congratulations ladies! I will be emailing you shortly with details.

Do not despair if you missed out. You can buy your own fabulous brooch at Ruemiraldi's online store. Thank you again to Ruemiraldi for providing me with these fabulous brooches for this giveaway.

What you'll need:

  1. Fabric strips cut on the cross grain Looks really pretty on light weight fabrics like silk, organza and tulle.
  2. Scissors
  3. Sewing machine
  4. Thread (a bucket load of it, rolled hems like to gobble it up) for a prettier finish it's recommended you use a fancy glossy thread like a poly-sheen
  5. Fishing line (seriously) 55mm, 30 pound line - you can experiment with different thicknesses. Have fun walking into a tackle shop in your gorgeous couture and asking for fishing line. Tell the shocked shop attendant it's for sewing. Enjoy watching his freaked out expression.
  6. A kick-ass backing track. 
Let's do this:

Julia Bobbin, rolled hem with fishing line

Machine settings
Zig Zag stitch (that's #8 on my machine)
Stitch width - 4 
Stitch length - 0.5

Julia Bobbin, rolled hem with fishing lineJulia Bobbin, rolled hem with fishing line

The wide stitch will help flick the edge of the fabric around the fishing line, the short length of the stitch will make the stitches nice and close together, keeping everything in place and looking pretty.

Position the fabric so that there is about a 1/4 inch seam allowance. This allowance needs to be small because it will be flicked up into the stitch and 'rolled' to make the hem.

Julia Bobbin, rolled hem with fishing line

Place the fishing line directly on top of the fabric, centred through the foot. If you were doing a straight stitch the fishing line would be directly under the needle. Because it's a zig zag stitch the needle will always fall either side of the fishing line.

Julia Bobbin, rolled hem with fishing line

Make sure you pull a bit of fishing line out the back of the machine, just like you would do with the first threads. You're going to want to gently hold onto the fishing line for the first few stitches so that the stitching doesn't get stuck and bunch up. Once it starts moving you can let go.

Julia Bobbin, rolled hem with fishing line

Lightly guide the fishing line so that it stays near the edge of the fabric and centred under the foot. You can see above how I'm holding onto the line to keep it close to the edge, but I am not pulling on it. Guide, don't pull.

Finish the row of stitching and then trim the threads and the fishing line at the ends. You end up with a flouncy, 3D structured hem.

Here's the one I made previously ...

Julia Bobbin, rolled hem with fishing line

Nice huh? Katherine's grandmother would explain this better (and do a much prettier job) but you get the idea. I love how it can all be done on a sewing machine (yay to no overlocker/serger!) and the result is so strong and pretty. 

Julia Bobbin, rolled hem with fishing line

This look would look great as a feature on a one shoulder dress, or as flouncy sleeves, or a veil for a wedding dress. The possibilities are endless!

Julia Bobbin, rolled hem with fishing line

Oh, and for those with a strong stomach (get it?! get it??!!), here's what I made for my Halloween costume this year. Disgustingly awesome and mildly inappropriate.
Julia Bobbin, pregnant halloween costume

Happy sewing!


  1. Great tutorial! Im really bad at doing these rolled hems, especially if you do NOT want the fabric larger at the hem than it was before.

  2. I wonder if you could substitute thin wire for the fishing line, and make your own wired ribbon?!

    1. Good God that is a fabulous idea! I'm going to have to try that!

  3. Hahaha! Your Halloween costume is so gross! It's the best I've seen so far! Triple like!

  4. Heehehe I was going to have the same halloween costume but got worried I was going to scare the smaller trick or treaters. LOVE it!

  5. I love you just for that costume. The tutorial was greta, but the costume. Damn.

  6. I made a hem like this for my daughter's Irish Dancing dress. It's a pain to yards and yards of, but very effective!
    Love the Halloween costume. It's funny, and kind of witty. Well, I guess it's funny for those of us with questionable taste, lol!

  7. I can't believe I won that gorgeous brooch! Thank you so much for this lovely giveaway!

    Your Halloween costume is great! Funny, and of course little baby wanted to be included :) Love it!

  8. I can't stop laughing over your Halloween costume. It's amazing! And I'm so glad to have won a brooch. Thank you. :)

    I should post a picture of my Halloween costume.... my mom sewed it for me a few years back and it's over the top ridiculous. A full body suit devil costume made from red hologram spandex, complete with a stuffed tail attached at the lower back/end of zip, and over-sized stuffed horns atop the fitted hood.

  9. I don't know what stuns me more, the awesomeness that is fishing line sewing, or that totally HILARIOUSLY amazing Halloween costume of yours. SO GOOD!

  10. Love the costume (not what I expected!). Your baby is going to have such fun with you guys!

  11. What a great technique! Thanks for showing us.

  12. What a costume lady!! Love it.

  13. A stroke of genius! I must try this :). Adore the Halloween costume - would have loved to be a fly on the wall as you went public with it!

  14. Firstly, Congratulations to the winners of the brooches - I hope you will enjoy wearing them.
    Julia, Your sewing skills and patience are amazing. I'm looking forward to seeing your next sewing creation.
    As for the Halloween costume - you are so clever...and it is so scarey!

  15. love the costume! love the new technique too.. but the costume - genius one

  16. Whoa, what a great idea! I love this! Thanks for sharing the kickass tutorial!

  17. i'll have to use this method for my next Melbourne cup. It could work a treat on a hat. I laughed out loud at your Halloween costume, so so funny.

  18. I IMMEDIATELY pinned this tute before I even read the whole thing, haha. I can't wait to have a reason to try it!

    Also, your Halloween costume is CRAMAZEBALLS. <3<3


  19. Thanks for the fantastic tutorial! and for your kind words on my blog. You are sweet :) and I am sad you got horrible comments too, but glad you have risen above it and are going on in your gorgeous cheerful way.
    That Halloween costume is a scream... I love it :D

  20. Fishing line is a fabulous addition to the sewing room. When I sewed wedding dresses I always edged veils with it, yardage was seriously painful (not to mention wrangling all that tulle!) but the result was always worth it.

    Your costume was hilarious, all the more for jsut being that little bit wrong :)

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  22. Don't know if you are still replying to this tut BUT I'll ask and see. :-)

    Does the hem lay straight out? Hmmm how to explain? I mean, does it curl or wave or lay flat? I am about to make a ruffled scarf from some sheer fabric and a rolled hem with this would be ideal!!! But I don't want it doing more than the ruffled fabric alone would do. Goodness, does this make sense? LOL
    Thanks in advance!

  23. HI. This may sound strange to you but I have a question here please. Is it possible to actually use (finer of cause) fishing line instead of thread. I wouldn't tell you why as it has nothing to do with dress making and you would probably laugh but I have about 50 metres of sewing to do and using a machine would speed things up a bit.

  24. To the question about rolled hems "growing" I usually solved that by running a line of straight stitching a scant 1/4 inch away from the cut edge. Then when I used my hemmer foot, the stitching prevented the cut edge from stretching. But with the fishing line, I guess you want it to "grow," right? So you could skip that step. Thanks for this post. Very inspirational!